Food Finds: Taipei

Hey everyone! During my recent (and second) trip to Taipei, I found myself surrounded by an abundance of decadent, tasty and, frankly quite fattening, food. I’m so excited to share my recommendations! Here are 6 Taiwanese dishes and street snacks you should not miss out on when visiting Taipei.

1. Sweet Potato Balls, $2

Every time I pay a visit to Raohe Night Market, I look forward to my favourite snack – sweet potato balls (地瓜球). I find that the best sweet potato balls come from one stall, and one stall only – Wei Xiao Di Gua Qiu. This stall is located in the centre of Raohe Night Market. If you wish to find it, look out for the signboard with a blue background and yellow polka dots, text in white, and a hot pink outer stroke. Shouldn’t be too hard to find, it’s quite eye-catching!

 

2. Pork Bun, $0.75

My friends and I discovered these delectable pork buns from Ximending Da Jie Steamed Dumplings (大姐水煎包) while we were scouting for authentic Taiwanese breakfast places near our Airbnb apartment. Andre and I fell in love with the bun’s soft and pillowy texture and the perfectly crispy pan-fried bottom, that complemented the succulent pork filling that followed when taking a bite. To give a better picture, it tastes exactly like an enlarged version of a Xiao Long Bao – so much so that we have affectionally named it “Da Long Bao”!

Find it here: No. 44, Section 2, Hankou St, Wanhua District, Taipei

 

3. Mango Shaved Ice

Yes, mango shaved ice. A very popular pick for anyone who visits Taipei. Compared to the overrated Korean bingsu that blew up in Singapore ages ago, this mango shaved ice has a creamier texture and taste which should not be passed up. Meanwhile, the mango is the sweetest I’ve tried and ties this dish together. Unfortunately, my friends and I made the grave mistake of tasting this dish only on the last day of our trip. Don’t make the same mistake!

Find it here: Jiufen Old Street (Take a train to Taipei’s countryside)

 

4. Ah Zhong Mian Xian, from $2.50

Hearing so much about the famous Ah Zhong Mian Xian prior to the trip gave me an impression of yet another overrated touristy dish. However, my impressions were proven wrong once I gave it a try. To me, what made this dish so different from the rest is how they throw in intestines, giving it a different and unique flavour. In the cold weather, it’s the most satisfactory dish you could eat. Don’t be afraid of the queue because it moves pretty quickly!

Find it here: Ximending District

 

5. Takoyaki, 6 for $2

Who would’ve imagined that one of the best takoyaki snacks could be found in Taipei? Although Taipei’s takoyaki balls are smaller, you’ll find yourself pleasantly surprised when you bite into the ball, and the warm and melty filling follows the light crispy crunch. To top it all off is a unique mayonnaise sauce that complements the snack perfectly. Andre loves this particular takoyaki snack for this very reason!

Find it here: Raohe Night Market (next to Songshan MRT)

 

6. Fried Milk, from $1

5 years ago, when I first came to Taipei, I clearly remembered this stick of fried milk balls as the very first snack I ate – and the best. Fried milk sounds odd, doesn’t it? Initially, I was sceptical as well but I couldn’t help falling in love. When you bite into it, you will find its crispy exterior heavenly, and trailing that is a warm and soft, melt-in-your-mouth goodness. It’s priced at a measly $1 per stick and $2 for 3 sticks, so even if you’re sceptical, what’s the harm in trying? There’s only 1 fried milk stall in Raohe – at the entrance – so keep your eyes peeled! Look out for a signboard with a cow and the words “Frying Milk” on it, to get your hands on this delectable snack!

Find it here: Raohe Night Market (next to Songshan MRT)

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